John Archibald, who works for Aramark UK as the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Old College Hall Porter, was recently awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours list. An MBE is awarded to those whose service in the community is outstanding in its field and has delivered an impact which stands out as an example to others. We spoke to John about this fantastic achievement and what it means to him.
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is John Archibald, I am 62 years old and a proud Scotsman. I came to the Royal Military Academy in 1999, so I’ve been here 23 years. I have successfully completed 65 consecutive parades which I received a gift for, presented to me by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Old College Grand Entrance.
In my opinion I have the best office in the world! I am fortunate to say that I enjoy getting up in the morning and coming to work.
In my spare time, I have a passion for motorcycles, like Harley Davidsons, and often attend rallies or conventions across the UK.
Tell us about your role as Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Old College Hall Porter?
My role is realistically quite like a concierge in a large hotel. It involves front of house management, meeting and greeting (with a smile on your face at all times!), being polite and courteous, and making people feel welcome. In my role, I also must take into consideration different factors like security issues.
The job is fantastic as it is very wide ranging. I am also involved with master’s ceremonies, dinner nights and dinner calls, which means it is quite varied and exciting.
What is the most rewarding part of your role as Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Old College Hall Porter?
The most rewarding part of my role is that I feel as though I’m part of the history. Especially when I see a young Officer Cadet coming up the stairs on day one, looking like a scared rabbit, and then 12 months later successfully coming up the stairs as a Commissioned Officer. It’s a huge honour that I get to be a part of and it’s very rewarding.
You were recently awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in the New Year’s Honours list. Can you tell us a bit about this and what this means to you?
Personally, I feel very humbled, very proud and I also feel it is the Academy showing their appreciation.
How do you plan on celebrating this big honour? *
To be quite honest, I have planned nothing at all. With the current covid situation, I don’t know when I’m going to be presented my medal. However, I am hopeful that the ceremony will take place soon and I can plan something nice to celebrate with family and friends.
(*To receive his award, John will be invited to an investiture – an event where people receive their medal from The Queen, or another member of the Royal Family.)
Many thanks for speaking to us John. Have you any final messages you’d like to mention?
I will finish with this - I feel as though maintaining a professional image, doing the best of your ability, maybe going a little further than you need to do, is the way forward for anyone who is working for our company and in this industry.